I have struggled with anxiety for my entire life. I was really shy as a child and slowly came out of that shell but with that came something worse…anxiety. When I was 15 & 16, I would even faint because my panic attacks would get so bad. I was on all kinds of medication. At 17, I was on the 100mg of Pristiq which was the highest dose available of a very strong drug. Looking back, I want to kick the doctor (with a friendly nudge of course) for giving a CHILD that much medication of such a strong drug. It took me months to ween off and the side effects were horrible. I digress…
Fast forward to adulthood and it never seemed to go away or get better. Back and forth on medication, feelings of defeat and hopelessness.
Until one day when I decided that I didn’t have to be a victim. In my head, I would sit there and tell myself that “I have anxiety”, “I can’t go to that event because my anxiety will flare up”, “I hope I don’t have a panic attack”.
You see, what I didn’t realize was that my own thoughts were working AGAINST me.
Here’s an example. Have you ever played baseball or softball? When you are up at bat, your mental game is SO important. If you go up to bat thinking, “I really hope I don’t strike out”, guess what you will more than likely do…strike out! On the contrast, if you go up to the plate thinking “I’m going to hit the ball right past that player”…you will get a hit! I swear it’s like magic.
So when I started applying this way of thinking into my life with anxiety, the whole ball game changed.
This along with a few other tips are what has helped me tremendously. I am now medication free and have been for almost 2 years and I feel GREAT. You can too!
I believe that the people who can help others with anxiety are the people who have and who DO struggle with it. To quote Dave Ramsey, “You shouldn’t take money advice from someone who is broke”. Makes sense right?
Now let me preface with this- I still suffer from anxiety. HOWEVER, it is scaled WAY down. Like, way down. I am medication free and still learning how to handle it. I hope these things help you!
Exercise has SO many health benefits. If you are not exercising, you NEED to. It is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. It doesn’t have to be 1-2 hours a day in the gym. Start with setting a timer for 15 minutes and if you don’t know what to do, just put a Pandora station on and DANCE your little heart out. Get your heart pumping and blood flowing! It will change your life.
Avoid Processed Foods
Just like exercise, avoiding a bunch of boxed foods is really important when it comes to your battle with anxiety. Everything we eat has chemicals, whether it’s a strawberry, hamburger, salad or a cookie. It will either work to HELP us internally or HURT us. I don’t think people realize how powerful our food is or can be. (I’ll save that topic for another lengthy discussion). When you eat more whole foods, your body will flooded with nutrients it needs to take care of itself. It’s quite amazing if you think about it. So skip the food with the fancy labels, food coloring and preservatives and grab something from the produce isle instead.
Step Up Your Mental Game
Just like I talked about earlier, your mental game is SO important when it comes to your battle with anxiety. I have been practicing controlling my thoughts for a few months and it has honestly changed my life. When I feel my symptoms flare up, I take a deep breath and think “I am okay”, “I am healthy”, “It will go away and I will be fine”, “I am strong”, “This is just anxiety and it will stop”, “I have beat this so many times”. You get the idea. Think these thoughts in your head next time you have a flare up and see what it does for you!
I love a glass of wine just as much as the next person but I know my body. If I have more than 1 alcoholic beverage a week, my anxiety will flare up. Most weeks, I don’t drink anything and I feel SO much better when I don’t. That’s just ME. Figure out what works for YOU. The main thing is, listen to what your body is saying. If you have never tried cutting alcohol to help your anxiety, try it now! I promise the buzz from the glass of wine won’t feel nearly as good as you winning that fight against anxiety. Plus, when you are exercising regularly, you will have less stress and the “urge” to pour a glass will go away.
These are some of the things that have helped me tremendously! I hope they help you too! If you got value from this, please like or comment or share! 🙂